Academy Award winner Dean Pitchford will be participating in When You Believe: A Conversation With and Tribute To Stephen Schwartz May 19 in Palm Springs.
The 8 PM event, which will be held in the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum, will feature a conversation with multiple Academy Award winner Schwartz as well as performances of his stage and movie musical hits. He will be presented with Desert Ensemble Theatre Company's inaugural Melpomai Award.
Directed and moderated by Scott Logsdon (LES MISERABLES), the evening will include performances from Tony nominee Andrea McArdle (Broadway's original ANNIE), Kate Flannery (NBC's THE OFFICE), Pamla Vale Abramson, Melissa Batalles, Garrett Hoy, Ben Reece and Laura L.Thomas. Joel Baker will be the musical director and accompanist.
The Melpomai Award will be given annually to honor excellence in the development of theatre nationally.
Schwartz, who is currently represented on Broadway with the long-running musical WICKED and the revival of GODSPELL, is also known for his work on PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER'S WIFE, WORKING, CHILDEN OF EDEN and his recent opera SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, among others. He has won Academy Awards for his work on POCAHONTAS and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT and is also a five-time Tony nominee and four-time Grammy winner.
Dean Pitchford was born and raised in Hawai’i and graduated from Yale. He began his performing career off- and on-Broadway (GODSPELL; PIPPIN) before turning to songwriting, screenwriting and directing (HBO’s Bloodbrothers). He has been nominated for four Academy Awards (winning Best Song for “Fame,” co-written with Michael Gore), three Golden Globes (winning for “Fame”), seven Grammys and two Tonys. His songs - recorded by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Cher, Peter Allen, LL Cool Jay, Kenny Loggins, Hugh Jackman, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler and Martina McBride - have sold over 70 million records. The musical stage adaptation (co-written with Walter Bobbie) of his original screenplay for "Footloose" ran for more than seven hundred performances on Broadway and is now being seen all over the world. Songs he co-wrote with Peter Alan were sung by Hugh Jackman on Broadway in THE BOY FROM OZ. Dean’s Young Adult novels, The Big One-Oh and Captain Nobody, have been published by Putnam/Penguin, and his performances of their audiobook recordings (released by Listening Library/Random House) were both nominated for Grammy Awards. His third novel, Nickel Bay Nick, is due in 2013. His musical CARRIE was recently revived Off-Broadway and received five Drama Desk nominations.
Andrea McArdle played Broadway’s original ANNIE, for which she was the youngest performer ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. For her work as ANNIE she won the Theatre World and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards. She’s also been seen on Broadway in LES MISERABLES, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, STARLIGHT EXPRESS and STATE FAIR. Her television credits include playing Judy Garland in RAINBOW, the "Star to Be" in ABC's ANNIE and SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.
Kate Flannery is best known as Meredith on NBC’s THE OFFICE. She’s been seen on the NY stage in Nora Ephron’s LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE, as Neely O’Hara in VALLEY OF THE DOLLS at the Circle in The Square and as Alice in THE REAL LIVE BRADY BUNCH at the Village Gate. She’s a former member of Chicago’s Second City National Tour Company and the Annoyance Theater. Her original comedy act, the Lampshades has played Joe’s Pub and plays Hollywood regularly. She's guest starred on Disney’s WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE HBO’s LIFE AND TIMES OF TIM, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, LAST COMIC STANDING, SNL’s SATURDAY TV FUNHOUSE, LENO and THE SOUP.